"Mr. Trudeau is not in touch with the values or the real issues that face ordinary Canadians. I don’t really know what his background is. I don’t think he’s ever run anything.
We’ll get a chance to compare Stephen Harper as a strong and competent leader of a G7 country focused on economic growth…If I were a Liberal, as I used to be, I wouldn’t be inclined to vote for a guy who has zero executive experience, zero governing experience and zero record of putting forward substantive ideas to address the tough issues of the day…in the several years that I’ve been in Parliament with Justin Trudeau, I don’t remember him saying a single serious thing about growth and job creation."
Don't get me wrong, I am not on the Trudeau bandwagon but when a minister, who turned blind eye to a Chinese mining company bringing 220 chinese worker into Canada and ignoring skilled Canadian workers, I believe he should not throw stones.
As for Stephen Harpers management skills they leave much to be desired. I have always been of the opinion that a good leader surrounds himself with good people. Harper has surrounded himself with total failures in the likes of Bev Oda, Peter MacKay, Maxine Bernier, Lisa Raitt, Helena Guergis, Mike Duffy, Patrick Brazeau, John Baird and the list of problem makers goes on......
When I look at Stephen Harpers list of credits all I can see is a disgruntled man who has consistantly shown that if he couldn't be in charge .... he quit
Harper became involved in politics as a member of his high school's Young Liberals Club. He later changed his political allegiance because he disagreed with the National Energy Program (NEP) of Pierre Trudeau's Liberal government. He became chief aide to Progressive Conservative MP Jim Hawkes in 1985, but later became disillusioned with both the party and the government of Brian Mulroney, especially the administration's fiscal policy and its inability to fully revoke the NEP until 1986. He left the PC Party that same year.
He was then recommended by the University of Calgary's economist Bob Mansell to Preston Manning, the founder and leader of the Reform Party of Canada. Manning invited him to participate in the party, and Harper gave a speech at Reform's 1987 founding convention in Winnipeg. He became the Reform Party's Chief Policy Officer, and he played a major role in drafting the 1988 election platform. He is credited with creating Reform's campaign slogan, "The West wants in!"
Harper ran for the Canadian House of Commons in the 1988 federal election, appearing on the ballot as Steve Harper in Calgary West. He lost by a wide margin to Hawkes, his former employer. The Reform Party did not win any seats in this election, although party candidate Deborah Grey was elected as the party's first MP in a by-election shortly thereafter. Harper became Grey's executive assistant, and was her chief adviser and speechwriter until 1993. He remained prominent in the Reform Party's national organization in his role as policy chief, encouraging the party to expand beyond its Western base, and arguing that strictly regional parties were at risk of being taken over by radical elements. He delivered a speech at the Reform Party's 1991 national convention, in which he condemned extremist views.
Harper's relationship with Manning became strained in 1992, due to conflicting strategies over the Charlottetown Accord. Harper opposed the Accord on principle for ideological reasons, while Manning was initially more open to compromise. Harper also criticized Manning's decision to hire Rick Anderson as an adviser, believing that Anderson was not sufficiently committed to the Reform Party's principles. He resigned as policy chief in October 1992.
Harper stood for office again in the 1993 federal election, and defeated Jim Hawkes amid a significant Reform breakthrough in Western Canada. His campaign likely benefited from a $50,000 print and television campaign organized by the National Citizens Coalition against Hawkes, although the NCC did not endorse Harper directly.
Reform MPHarper emerged a prominent member of the Reform Party of Canada caucus. He was active on constitutional issues during his first term in Parliament, and played a prominent role in drafting the Reform Party's strategy for the 1995 Quebec referendum. A long-standing opponent of centralized federalism, he stood with Preston Manning in Montreal to introduce a twenty-point plan to "decentralize and modernize" Canada in the event of a "no" victory. Harper later argued that the "no" side's narrow plurality was a worst-case scenario, in that no-one had won a mandate for change.
Harper has expressed socially conservative views on some issues. In 1994, he opposed plans by federal Justice Minister Allan Rock to introduce spousal benefits for same-sex couples. Citing the recent failure of a similar initiative in Ontario, he was quoted as saying, "What I hope they learn is not to get into it. There are more important social and economic issues, not to mention the unity question." Harper also spoke against the possibility of the Canadian Human Rights Commission or the Supreme Court changing federal policy in these and other matters.
At the Reform Party's 1994 policy convention, Harper was part of a small minority of delegates who voted against restricting the definition of marriage to "the union of one man and one woman". He actually opposed both same-sex marriage and mandated benefits for same-sex couples, but argued that political parties should refrain from taking official positions on these and other "issues of conscience".
Harper was the only Reform MP to support the creation of the Canadian Firearms Registry at second reading in 1995, although he later voted against it at third reading stage. He said at the time that he initially voted for the registry because of a poll showing that most of his constituents supported it, and added that he changed his vote when a second poll showed the opposite result. Some accused him of manipulating the second poll to achieve the result he wanted. It was reported in April 1995 that some Progressive Conservatives opposed to Jean Charest's leadership wanted to remove both Charest and Manning, and unite the Reform and Progressive Conservative parties under Harper's leadership.
Despite his prominent position in the party, Harper's relationship with the Reform Party leadership was frequently strained. In early 1994, he criticized a party decision to establish a personal expense account for Preston Manning at a time when other Reform MPs had been asked to forego parliamentary perquisites. He was formally rebuked by the Reform executive council despite winning support from some MPs. His relationship with Manning grew increasingly fractious in the mid-1990s, and he pointedly declined to express any opinion on Manning's leadership during a 1996 interview. This friction was indicative of a fundamental divide between the two men: Harper was strongly committed to conservative principles and opposed Manning's inclinations toward populism, which Harper saw as leading to compromise on core ideological matters.[not in citation given]
These tensions culminated in late 1996 when Harper announced that he would not be a candidate in the next federal election. He resigned his parliamentary seat on January 14, 1997, the same day that he was appointed as a vice-president of the National Citizens Coalition (NCC), a conservative think-tank and advocacy group. He was promoted to NCC president later in the year.
In April 1997, Harper suggested that the Reform Party was drifting toward social conservatism and ignoring the principles of economic conservatism. The Liberal Party lost seats but managed to retain a narrow majority government in the 1997 federal election, while Reform made only modest gains.